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Windows 7: Macrium Image Backup & Dual Boot Configurations.

29 Apr 2011   #11
alan10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1 x64
 
 

I think this statement to be false
"I realise Macrium doesn’t support “cold-imaging” so the backup has to be performed from inside the operating system."

A couple of months ago M.S. sneaked in unannounced an update that was supposed to be an enhancement to WGA.
My system had already been validated, and had the enhancement found evidence to cancel validation it was supposed to inconvenience me periodically.

Soon after Windows trashed itself - totally non-responsive to anything other than pulling the plug within 1.5 minutes of switching on - absolutely repeatable every time.

I wanted to make a backup to preserve all MY changes that I had made after the backup image of the previous week. (I ALWAYS make an image before I permit any Windows Update - but Microsoft forced the update without notice),

1.5 minutes was not long enough for a "hot-image" created under Windows.

I plugged in the Macrium P.E. Boot recovery disc and used its option to create an image.

Then I used the Boot Disc to restore from the good image.
With Windows back to normal I mounted the Macrium image of the trashed system,
and used BestSync to compare the trashed partition with the restored partition C:\,
and then within a few minutes I deselected several thousand files that Windows is always updating, and then BestSync updated my restored system C:\ with my good changes in the trashed image.

N.B. Now under Live Windows I create a total DISC "hot-image" backup of ALL partitions (the active system reserved and System C:\ and programs + data) held on the primary Disc. At any time I may select and restore any partition, and I can restore the whole drive, i.e. all partitions + Partition Table + MBR etc. I do not have to worry about which partition to restore first.
I would expect no difficulty with a Dual O.S. on the same HDD, and it should be feasible to use either O.S. to create the image, and also the O.S. used for creation should not affect which O.S. is used for restoration.

My backup files are held on the Secondary drive and also an ESATA connected external HDD.

It takes about 2.5 minutes to create a Daily Incremental backup of my entire primary drive under Live Windows, and not much longer for a weekly Differential backup.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Apr 2011   #12
MrJWilson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1 (x2. Dual Boot)
 
 

Thanks for the detailed instructions Greg. I will attempt this soon as it seems to keep things much simpler for backing up and restoring. I do hope that running these windows repairs on the operating system installations will preserve (with the exception of anything boot related obviously) my current settings, updates, programs and customisations and not take it back to the point of a fresh pre-service pack 1 W7 install?

That might be a silly question but I have never used this repair feature before. I have always just reinstalled both operating systems to the dual boot config I have now. Very time consuming.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2011   #13
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You can make a back image with macrium pe disc - not with macrium linux disc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Apr 2011   #14
MrJWilson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1 (x2. Dual Boot)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alan10 View Post
I think this statement to be false
"I realise Macrium doesn’t support “cold-imaging” so the backup has to be performed from inside the operating system."

...I plugged in the Macrium P.E. Boot recovery disc and used its option to create an image.

Then I used the Boot Disc to restore from the good image...
Interesting. I thought even the pro version of Macrium didn't support that way of imaging, but only inside the OS. I am not sure if Hiren's Boot CD effectivly gives me the Macrium Windows PE feature or if there are drawbacks. Anyone tried it?

Macrium users - Hirens boot CD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2011   #15
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MrJWilson View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alan10 View Post
I think this statement to be false
"I realise Macrium doesn’t support “cold-imaging” so the backup has to be performed from inside the operating system."

...I plugged in the Macrium P.E. Boot recovery disc and used its option to create an image.

Then I used the Boot Disc to restore from the good image...
Interesting. I thought even the pro version of Macrium didn't support that way of imaging, but only inside the OS. I am not sure if Hiren's Boot CD effectivly gives me the Macrium Windows PE feature or if there are drawbacks. Anyone tried it?

Macrium users - Hirens boot CD
Tried it, and also Macrium on a number of machines. The boot disks wont work with certain graphic cards/onboard graphic chips.

If it works on your machine, then it's fine. But try it before you rely on it. It is no use at all being able to make an image from inside the system and then being unable to restore it.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2011   #16
gregrocker

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MrJWilson View Post
Thanks for the detailed instructions Greg. I will attempt this soon as it seems to keep things much simpler for backing up and restoring. I do hope that running these windows repairs on the operating system installations will preserve (with the exception of anything boot related obviously) my current settings, updates, programs and customisations and not take it back to the point of a fresh pre-service pack 1 W7 install?

That might be a silly question but I have never used this repair feature before. I have always just reinstalled both operating systems to the dual boot config I have now. Very time consuming.
Startup Repair only repair or writes the System boot files to the target partition, nothing in the OS is affected.

Be sure to back up your files first, and a Win7 backup image, any time you do repairs or repartitioning.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2011   #17
alan10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1 x64
 
 

When the Acronis forums were in Wilders I found one experienced Guru that advised :-
An image should always be validated before using it;
The HDD drivers on the Boot CD may be incompatible with the HDD and unable to restore a partition;
Even a fully restored partition may fail to be un-bootable, so he preferred to use two HDD so that if he had the option to swap to the other working HDD.

It was certainly my experience with Acronis that the Linux drivers were very bad at reading the image files on a NTFS partition. I found that restoring C:\ to a NTFS partition was 3 times faster if the image files were held in FAT32 partitions rather than NTFS.

I have no such concern with the Macrium Windows PE Boot Disc.

My secondary HDD has one partition for image files, and space in which I restored an image of C:\ before I risked losing everything with an over-write of C:\ at the start of my first attempt restoring an image.
I also ensured that I had two separate validated image files on different HDD before I ever took the plunge and restored an image to C:\.

I am now much more relaxed and when an image is created it is automatically validated,
and should I ever need to restore it I assume it is still valid and nothing will go wrong,
knowing that if the image file has been corrupted I can fall back to the previous day's image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2011   #18
MrJWilson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1 (x2. Dual Boot)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
I use free Macrium and frequently image several partitions together. For Macrium it does not really matter what is inside the partition. You can very well image system partition2 from system1. You can also image them seperatly with or without the data partitions appended.

But when it comes to restoring, you have to restore each partition seperately. And that is a good thing because it is unlikely that all partitios go down at the same time.

The active 100MB partition you have to image only once and usually you do not restore it (unless the disk breaks and you have to migrate to a new disk). The MBR you never touch. If that breaks, you rebuild it with appropriate tools.

PS: I think what Greg suggests is the best setup. I was using that for a long time running Win7 and Vista on the same system.

Here is a Macrium tutorial I put together a while ago: Imaging with free Macrium
I have been reading the post you linked and have just a few questions.

In the event both operating systems were damaged for whatever reason, and I wanted to restore only one of the operating systems I had backed up with Macrium, and then do a fresh Windows 7 install of the second operating system (to dual boot), what would this involve and would this be complicated to do?

Would it be the case that I restore just the one operating system from the image backup with Linux rescue disc, delete the corrupted second operating system partition, run Win 7 system repair three times on the Macrium restored OS image, effectivley giving me a single boot system, and then install the second fresh Win 7, which would create a new system reserved partition and MBR?

I hope I have been clear with what I am trying to ask.

J.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2011   #19
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You shouldn't need to do all that.

You can restore an image with any of the decent imaging apps. to unallocated space, if you like.

It should boot up straightaway.

Only if you had a separate system partition - e'g' one of those 100mb things - then yes, you can mark the restored image active and run startup repair a couple of times.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2011   #20
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

It will depend a bit on the bootmgr configuration.

1. the ideal scenario is 2 independent installations on 2 seperate physical disks. Then you can restore each system at will.

2. The next best is if you first do a standard win7 installation that creates the 100MB active partition with the bootmgr. If you image that BERFORE you install the second OS, than you can restore the 100MB partition from that image together with the C partition on win7 and be home free.

3. The complicated case is if you install Linux first and then Win7. That puts everything under the control of the Grub and then you have to rebuild your bootmgr on the C partition of win7. But you then have to first make that C partition "active" - e.g. with the bootable CD of Partition Wizard or cmd/diskpart of the installation disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Macrium Image Backup & Dual Boot Configurations.




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